Sunday, January 8, 2012

U.S. Debt is Now Equal to Economy

It must be considered a betrayal of the public trust for the U.S. government to have given us such debt. They have put political expediency above the future of our nation. While many of us sacrifice for our children Washington has been indifferent to our next generation. The Congress is universally disliked by the American people but are able to retain their positions of power. This suggests they act without our approval. So the American people as a whole are blameless. And since they act without our consent they are illegitimate. Only a revolution in government will restore the supremacy of We The People:

The soaring national debt has reached a symbolic tipping point: It's now as big as the entire U.S. economy.

The amount of money the federal government owes to its creditors, combined with IOUs to government retirement and other programs, now tops $15.23 trillion.

That's roughly equal to the value of all goods and services the U.S. economy produces in one year: $15.17 trillion as of September, the latest estimate. Private projections show the economy likely grew to about $15.3 trillion by December — a level the debt is likely to surpass this month.
The American people do not control their government because it has been corrupted by great wealth:
But the hand-wringing over the new breed of deep-pocketed outside groups has become a process debate – wrapped in the language of legal arcana and plausible deniability. And, when the candidates are pushed to call for an end to the ads or changes to the legal landscape that spawned them, they mostly back down.

It’s a kabuki dance that allows candidates to keep their hands clean even as they become major players in a new big-money system that seems likely to dominate presidential politics for the foreseeable future.
With all that debt the potential for financial disaster looms over our nation. And there doesn't seem anyone out there with any solutions that could possibly get the attention of an indifferent national government:
Higher interest rates on U.S. debt will increase our annual deficits and accelerate the growth of the national debt, potentially triggering a spiraling crisis of confidence like that we have seen in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and other European countries. And as we have seen in those countries, the crisis of confidence can reveal itself in rising interest rates not over years, not in months or weeks, but suddenly over a few days or hours.

Unlike the European countries which have recently experienced debt crises, the U.S. does not have a larger entity waiting in the wings ready to bail us out with outside capital. If we try to respond to market demand for higher interest rates by, in effect, turning on the printing presses and printing more dollars, that will only deepen our economic crisis and spread economic panic.

Who thinks that's a risk we should take? Who's willing to bet the republic that the U.S. will always be the safest place in the world to invest capital, that we'll always be the lowest cost borrower in the world?

It's a risk and a bet that I'd prefer not to make. Common sense says that we can't continue to operate on trillion dollar annual deficits forever, running up the national debt to successively higher and higher record levels.

Fact-checking the weekend's GOP debates

Source: CBS

Ron Paul cited a staggering number in the Republican presidential debate Sunday - $15 trillion supposedly spent by the Fed "bailing out their friends." Like Mitt Romney and his claims about creating jobs in the private sector, Paul came up with that shocker by presenting an unbalanced look at balance sheets.

Here is a look at some of the claims in a pair of lively GOP debates on the weekend and how they compare with the facts:

PAUL: "I don't see how we can do well against Obama if we have any candidate that, you know, endorsed, you know, single payer systems and TARP bailouts and don't challenge the Federal Reserve's $15 trillion of injection bailing out their friends."

THE FACTS: First, there are no fans of government-run, single-payer health insurance in the Republican field, despite Paul's suggestion otherwise Sunday. Newt Gingrich once endorsed the idea of requiring everyone to have health insurance, and Romney introduced a mandate for health coverage as Massachusetts governor. But that's a far cry from a Canadian-style health system that makes government the primary payer of people's medical bills.

TARP is the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program that was proposed by President George W. Bush and passed by Congress in 2008 to help rescue imperiled financial institutions. Nearly all of the money has been paid back, with interest.

Paul's slam against the Fed ignores the fact that most of the $15 trillion he is talking about involved loans that were quickly repaid, sometimes the next day. And that's if these Fed transactions can even be considered loans in the conventional sense.

When the Fed lends money to banks, it creates the money out of thin air. When the banks pay it back, the money disappears from the system. If a bank borrows $5 billion from the Fed one day, then pays it back the next, and a week later borrows $5 billion more and quickly pays it back, the total would be listed as $10 billion, even though it's just the same money going back and forth and the treasury is in no sense being emptied.

That's how a federal report counted a running total of about $15 trillion in emergency Fed loans to domestic banks and their foreign subsidiaries between 2007 and 2010. The actual loan total, once paybacks are accounted for, is estimated at $1.1 trillion.

Fact check: Obama's 'Promises Kept' ad

Source: USAToday:

President Obama's reelection campaign is circulating a video of promises the then-candidate made during an Iowa caucus victory speech in January 2008, claiming he kept the promises he made that night. Not quite.

To be sure, the president signed a major health care law, ended the long war in Iraq and signed multiple "middle-class" tax cuts, just as his campaign boasts.

But the health care law isn't expected to make insurance "affordable and available to every single American," as Obama promised. And though he pledged to be a president who "brings our troops home" from Iraq, thousands of those U.S. troops are now stationed in neighboring Kuwait. Most glaringly, he has failed at "bringing Democrats and Republicans together" as he so optimistically promised four years ago.

Soldiers on Lockdown After 'Sensitive' Military Equipment is Stolen from Washington Base


More than 100 soldiers were on lockdown Sunday after "sensitive" military equipment was stolen from a base in Fort Lewis, Wash.

The soldiers were put on lockdown Wednesday after items such as scopes, night vision goggles and range finders went missing from Joint Base Lewis-McChord over the holidays, reported.

Lewis-McChord spokesman Matt Hinkle said Saturday that the army was carrying out a criminal investigation into the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division after the "sensitive" items went missing, The News Tribune reported.

"They'll be on base until the items are found," Hinkle, who estimated the company contained about 100- 200 soldiers, said. "This is the unit's property that's come up missing."

"We're going to continue to conduct this investigation as thoroughly as possible," I Corps spokesman Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield added. "We will get to the bottom of this matter."

Neither Hinkle nor Dangerfield confirmed exactly what pieces of equipment were missing but Dangerfield said that many military items including night-vision goggles and military ID cards were considered "sensitive," according to the newspaper.

Family members were allowed to visit the soldiers for the first time Friday, reported.

Officials are offering a $10,000 reward for the return of the equipment.

Transcript: 'Meet The Press' GOP Presidential Debate (1-8-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:


09:02:46:00             Speaker Gingrich, why shouldn't Governor Romney be the nominee of this party?  What about his record concerns you most or makes him-- disqualified to be the nominee?

                                      NEWT GINGRICH:

09:02:58:00             Look, I-- I think what Republicans have to ask is who's most likely in the long run-- to survive against the kind of billion dollar campaign the Obama team is gonna run.  And I think that a bold Reagan conservative with a very strong economic plan is a lot more likely to succeed in that campaign than a relatively timid Massachusetts moderate who even The Wall Street Journal said had an economy plan so timid it resembled Obama.

09:03:25:00             So I think you've gotta look at, you know, Massachusetts was fourth from the bottom in job creation under Governor Romney.  I-- we created 11 million jobs while I was Speaker and I worked with governor-- with President Reagan in the entire recover of the 1980s.  That is they-- there's a huge difference between a Reagan conservative and somebody who comes out of the Massachusetts culture with an essentially moderate record who I think will have a very hard time in a debate with president.

09:03:49:00                           (OVERTALK)

                                      DAVID GREGORY:

09:03:49:00             Speaker Gingrich, bottom line, you believe that Governor Romney is unelectable?

                                      NEWT GINGRICH:

09:03:52:00             Well, I don't believe he's unelectable but I think he has a much-- I-- look, against Obama's record, I think , you know, the fact is President Obama's gonna have a very hard reelection effort.  But I do think the bigger the contrast, the bolder ideas, the clearer the choice, the harder it is for that billion dollar campaign to smear his way back into office.

                                      DAVID GREGORY:

09:04:10:00             Speaker, this your flier that you're--

                                      NEWT GINGRICH:

09:04:12:00             Right.

                                      DAVID GREGORY:

09:04:12:00             --circulating here in New Hampshire.  It says very clearly, "Romney is not electable."

                                      NEWT GINGRICH:

09:04:15:00             I think he will have a very hard time getting reelected.  Getting elected?

                                      DAVID GREGORY:

09:04:19:00             Governor?

                                      MITT ROMNEY:

09:04:22:00             David-- I'm very proud of the record that I have and I think the one thing you can't fool the people about New Hampshire about is-- the record of a governor next door.  And people have watched me over my term as governor and saw that I was a solid conservative and that I brought important change to Massachusetts.

09:04:36:00             They recognized that I cut taxes 19 times.  Balanced the budget every one of the four years I was in governor.  Put in place a $2 billion rainy day fund by the time I'd gone.  We had-- we'd seen job losses-- in the month leading up to my-- becoming-- the governor and then we began to finally create jobs.  And by the way, we created more jobs-- in Massachusetts than Barack Obama's created in the entire country.

09:04:58:00             We also got our state police to enforce illegal immigration law, put in place-- English immersion in our schools.  I'm very proud of the conservative record I have and I think that's why some of the leading conservatives in today's-- world who are fighting the conservative battles of today that don't have any axe to grind have gotten behind my campaign.

09:05:16:00             Governor Nikki Haley of-- of South Carolina.  Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.  Right here, the great senator of-- of New Hampshire, Ken-- Kelly Ayotte.  These are conservative who looked at my record, looked at my plan to get this economy going.

09:05:29:00             I happen to believe that if we want to replace a lifetime politician like Barack Obama, who had no experience leading anything, you have to choose someone who's not been a lifelong politician, who has not spent his tire-- en-- entire career in Washington, and instead has proven time and again he could lead in the private sector twice, in the Olympics and as a governor.  We've got to nominate a leader if we're gonna replace someone who is not a leader.

Senator Warns of New Batch of 'Super Painkillers' That Could Fuel More Deadly Robberies

Drugs, and their abuse, explains much of the violence in our society. We need to rethink the role of prescription drugs in our society. We might want to ask whether the powerful pharmaceuticals have us drugged-up and violent:

 Following fatal shootings in two New York pharmacy robberies, a U.S. senator is warning that a new batch of "super painkillers" now under review could force repeats of recent violent robberies that left six people dead.

"It's tremendously concerning that at the same time policymakers and law enforcement professionals are waging a war on the growing prescription drug crisis, new super-drugs could well be on their way, flooding the market," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "The FDA needs to grab the reins and slow down the stampede to introduce these powerful narcotics."
Full article

Video: GOP New Hampshire Presidential Debate (1-7-12)

Transcript: New Hampshire GOP Presidential Debate (1-7-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

SAWYER: So lets the -- let the debate begin.

And, Governor Romney, we’ll begin with you. We just saw 200,000 new jobs created last month, and there are optimists who say this is the signal that this economy is finally turning around. Are you with those optimists?

ROMNEY: I’m an optimist, and I certainly hope it turns around. We have millions of people who’ve been suffering too long, 25 million people that are out of work or have stopped looking for work, and also a lot of people who’ve got part-time jobs and need full-time employment. So it’s very good news. I hope we continue to see good news.

But it’s not thanks to President Obama. His policies have made the recession deeper, and his policies have made the recovery more tepid. As a result of everything from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank to a stimulus plan that was not as well directed as it should have been to a whole host of new regulations that have been put on American businesses, he’s made it harder for small entrepreneurs and big businesses to decide to invest in America and to grow jobs here.

And so the president is going to try and take responsibility for things getting better. You know, it’s like the rooster taking responsibility for the sunrise. He didn’t do it. In fact, what he did was make things harder for America to get going again.

SAWYER: I want to turn now to Senator Santorum. Senator Santorum, you have said we don’t need a CEO, we don’t need a manager as president. What did you mean by that?

SANTORUM: Well, we need a leader, someone who can paint a positive vision for this country, someone who, you know, has the experience to go out and be the commander-in-chief. I’ve experienced in eight years on the Armed Services Committee, I managed major pieces of legislation through the House and through the Senate on national security issues, like Iran, which is the most -- you want to talk about the most pressing issue that we’re dealing with today? It’s Iran.

And as Newt’s talked about many times, there’s no one that has more experience in dealing with that country than I do. And that means that we need -- we need someone who can -- who can go out and paint a vision of what America’s strength is about, let our allies know that they can trust us, let our enemies know that they have to respect us, and if they cross us, they should fear us.